MANILA-PHILIPPINES — Cagayan Lady Rising Suns easily scored their first win after defeating Petron Lady Blazers in straight sets at the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix held at San Juan Arena, Sunday, November 10, 2013.
The two teams, who finished 4th and 3rd place, respectively, at the Super Liga Invitational last summer, picked up where they left off as they bannered marquee names from the local volleyball scene in the season opener with Cagayan emerging victorious, 25-20, 25-14, 25-22.
Petron’s head coach Vilet Ponce de Leon concludes their lack of time to practice and prepare did them in on their first match of the conference.
“We just had one week to prepare,” said de Leon. “Though daily ang training, nagsimula lang ang practice namin when the imports flew in to Manila.”
De Leon, who is also an assistant coach of the UST women’s volleyball team, said that her team needs to work on their communication inside the court to break into the win column.
“Pati imports namin nagpapakiramdaman pa,” she adds. “Never pa din kasi sila naglaro together kahit na they’re both from Japan.”
The Lady Blazers tried to extend the game to a 4th set by making a 6-0 run at the 3rd frame to keep the score close at 23-22 but eventually shot themselves in the feet with an attack error from Gervacio and a reception error which resulted to a regalo and a win for Cagayan.
Dzi Gervacio top-scored for Petron in her Super Liga debut with 9 markers from 6 attacks and 3 blocks followed by Shinako Tanaka and Micmic Laborte with 6 and 5, respectively.
The start of a winning tradition?
After completing a historic 16-0 sweep at the Shakey’s V-league Open Conference, the Cagayan Lady Rising Suns extended their winning streak as they tuck another win under their belt on day one of the Grand Prix.
Though satisfied with his wards’ performance, head coach Nes Pamilar tried to play it down by saying there are still a lot of things the team needs to improve on.
“Maganda naman ang nilaro ng mga bata,” said Pamilar. ” Pero madami din kailangan i-improve.”
“Una na diyan, medyo mabagal ang plays namin kanina,” he adds. “At pangalawa, kahit ang ganda ng receive, di ako kumbinsido sa blocking.”
Cagayan, who has TMS-Army as its next assignment, has its plate full as they will be battling a team with an intact lineup and 2 imports to boot.
According to Pamilar, the schedule ahead is tough which is why they need to work on the squad’s chemistry hard and fast.
“Bago ang setter namin eh,” he quipped. “Pero tiwala ako na ilang games pa, magkaka-amuyan na din si April (Jose) at yung spikers niya.”
“Pagpatuloy lang nila ang magandang floor defense at ayusin ang blocking, magandang laban ang mapapanood ng tao sa Biyernes,” said Pamilar, talking about the Cagayan-Army match happening on November 15, 2013 at the Arena in San Juan.
Player of the game Pau Soriano fired off 11 points from 9 attacks and 2 blocks while Thai import Wanida Kotruang and ex-Lady Blazer Aiza Maizo chipped in 12 and 11 respectively.
Photo courtesy of DJ Bianca Frost